Students from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand created this energy efficient house called the Meridian 'First Light House' for the United States' annual Solar Decathlon. This talented group of architecture students are the first team from the Southern Hemisphere to throw their hat into the ring for this prestigious event. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the week-long competition features entries from over twenty university teams, all competing to create a stunning structure that is completely dependent on solar energy. Participants are judged on their design as well as the functionality of the house.
The Meridian First Light House was assembled in New Zealand, then shipped to Washington D.C. for judging. The structure follows the simple and classic lines of a traditional New Zealand timber aesthetic. The house was constructed using Western Red Cedar, which was chosen for its durability and its ability to remain stable in almost every climate. The sprawling canopy that crowns the dwelling provides support for 28 polycrystalline photovoltaic panels and 40 evacuated tube solar collectors. The interior is a minimalist's dream: free of clutter, serene and open. The Meridian First Light House is a blinding beacon of hope for a more sustainable future.